Jonathan Ross Faces Criticism After Defending JK Rowling Amid Backlash Over Comments On Transgender People

The presenter backed the Harry Potter author after she posted a series of controversial tweets over the weekend.

Jonathan Ross has spoken out to defend JK Rowling after the Harry Potter author sparked a huge online backlash for posting controversial tweets about menstruation and biological sex.

On Saturday, the writer commented on an article titled, Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for People Who Menstruate, pushing back against the headline for not referring to those who get their periods as just ‘women’.

“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?,” she tweeted.

The tweet sparked a wave of backlash from the LGBTQ community and its supporters, accusing her of erasing trans people, and reminded the author that transgender people, non-binary people and gender-nonconforming people can also menstruate.

JK then followed up her original tweet, writing: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

Jonathan Ross and JK Rowling
Jonathan Ross and JK Rowling

Jonathan has since stepped in to back up the writer, claiming she is not transphobic.

Writing on Twitter, the chat show host said: “I just ate too many brownies. Again. Oh, and also. @jk_rowling is both right and magnificent. For those accusing her of transphobia, please read what she wrote. She clearly is not.”

The presenter followed up his original tweet by engaging with Twitter users who criticised his stance.

In follow-up tweets sent on Saturday, JK insisted that accusations that she was transphobic were “nonsense”.

“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense,” she tweeted.

“I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”

However, many people quickly pointed out that trans people face frequent discrimination and violence, especially Black trans women, who people are currently fighting for as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Back in 2018, the Wizarding World creator sparked a backlash when she was seen “liking” a tweet referring to transgender women as “men in dresses”.

Towards the end of last year, she was criticised when she spoke out in defence of Maya Forstater, who had been accused of using “offensive and exclusionary” language in a number of tweets relating to proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow self-identification.

She said she had “accidentally pasted in” a sentence, which appeared to be from an article about transgender activist Tara Wolf.

Useful websites and helplines:

  • The Gender Trust supports anyone affected by gender identity | 01527 894 838
  • Mermaids offers information, support, friendship and shared experiences for young people with gender identity issues | 0208 1234819
  • LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for LGBT people in Scotland. Text 07786 202 370
  • Gires provides information for trans people, their families and professionals who care for them | 01372 801554
  • Depend provides support, advice and information for anyone who knows, or is related to, a transsexual person in the UK

What's Hot